Feb. 23, 2006
Jacksonville, FL - The Florida Atlantic men's basketball team pushed its lead to double figures for the second time at the 14:30 mark of the first half and there it stayed for the remainder of the game as the Owls defeated North Florida 74-53 Thursday evening at UNF Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
FAU built its first-half lead to as many as 20 points, 33-13, at the 7:11 mark of the half, eventually going to the break on top 41-25. The Ospreys chipped into the lead early in the second half but never threatened as the Owls stretched their lead to 70-45 at the 3:23 mark.
FAU forced 22 turnovers in the game, including 12 steals, while surrendering the ball just eight times via the turnover. That performance especially pleased head coach Matt Doherty after his squad committed 21 turnovers in Saturday's win over Kennesaw.
"We did an outstanding job of controlling the ball," said Doherty. "Offensively, we moved it around effectively and efficiently against their zone. Defensively, we trapped and got North Florida out their rhythm. That was a great effort by our team."
The Owls shot 48.3% from the field and 10-of-21 from three-point range. UNF was 19-of-43 overall but just two-of-10 on threes.
FAU scored 35 points in the paint to 20 for UNF. The Owls had a 34-9 edge on points off turnovers and outscored the Osprey bench 30-2.
Alain Laroche closed his career at UNF with 17 points and 10 rebounds but had an atypical eight turnovers and zero assists.
With Gardner-Webb's 77-67 win over Mercer on Thursday, the Owls remain tied for third place in the Atlantic Sun Conference and are one-half game out with one game to play.
FAU closes the regular on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. against Jacksonville. The game can be heard on 1040 AM WLVJ and www.fausports.com.